First timer on Coast Starlight Sleeper

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J

JulienWA

Guest
Hi there

I'm Jay. I volunteer at the Olympia-Lacey station. I just moved to Lacey from Portland and it's kinda funny but @ 40 years old; i'm the YOUNGEST volunteer at that station
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I started in November right after moving there.

Anyway, I had to travel to San Diego for business so I decided to take Coast Starlight to LA, spend the night in LA and then take the Surfliner down to SD in the morning

Coast Starlight

  1. I didn't realize that after booking online, you should call if you have a specific request of which room you want. My ticket put me automatically in car 1131; Room 4 for the Southbound. I happened to be chatting with the lounge attendant at PDX on another trip the week before and he told me that room woudlnt give me the ocean views. So he moved me to room 9 on the same car. I'm glad he did that, but I'm not sure why the reservation system online didnt let me choose? He also moved me on the return trip to a keep being able to see the water
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  2. I was in a Superliner II. It is defintely showing it's age as car 1130 was one of the refurbed Superliner I's and the bathrooms were much better. Is there plans to refurb the 2's anytime soon? My car attendant let me use the showers/restrooms in the other car because they were a bit less sketchy looking.
  3. We were 5 hours late into LA. We got stuck up in Oakridge, OR becuase apparently a freight train "broke" inside one of the 10 tunnels up there. Apparently that same day, the Northbound train got stuck for 9 hours waiting for them to clear it, I actually didn't mind the delay becuase it gave me time to take a long nap in the sleeper car
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Surfliner

  1. The Surfliner was AN AMAZING RIDE!!!!! What a nice modern sweet looking set. Is this the newest in the fleet?
Thanks for letting me post!
 

the_traveler

Engineer
Joined
Nov 15, 2007
Messages
26,005
Location
Whatever siding I'm sitting on!
How did the agent know which way the car would be facing ON THE DAY OF YOUR TRIP?
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Sleeper can be attached in either direction. So there is a 50/50 chance that (s)he was right. I have been on many trains where one sleeper had bedrooms first aAnd the other sleeper had roomettes first. There is no way to know until you board.
 
Joined
Oct 24, 2012
Messages
902
Location
Crescent Oregon (17 miles from Chemult)
Even the SCA's don't know which side will be facing the ocean until they get on board. It is the SCA's job to make sure that the showers are in good shape.

When the train is stopped for a long time is a good time to take a shower. I did that on the CZ in eastern Colorado after a truck driver wrecked and dumped

cattle feed on the tracks. Just be glad that it was not a landslide that closed the tracks like happened a few years ago.

As a sleeper passenger you got an extra meal or two while the coach passengers got Dinty Moore Beef Stew over rice.
 

zephyr17

Engineer
Joined
Jul 23, 2009
Messages
5,967
Location
Washington State
As mentioned, no way to know what direction a sleeper is facing in any given consist. The only way to know beforehand would be to see the northbound consist the previous day. Mostly they just turn it in Seattle. However, if a sleeper was bad ordered and they cut in another sleeper, then it would be facing whatever way it was facing to begin with.

No plans to refurb the Superliner IIs as far as I know. I actually prefer the IIs even without the refurb. I hate the closet in the Is, the cubby in the IIs is much more functional. And at least some of the IIs retained their heavy blackout curtains, at least as of a couple of years ago, instead of the thin, new replacements.
 
J

Jay

Guest
Zephyr; true the curtains did seem better. A lot of the sleepers were empty so I got to poke around in them to see how they compared. To everyone who asked me about getting moved---I guess I just got lucky then? One of the things I heard is that they don't move you to another sleeper once on board. Is that true?

I still prefer the bathrooms/showers on the refurbs. The bathrooms in the II were gross.
 

zephyr17

Engineer
Joined
Jul 23, 2009
Messages
5,967
Location
Washington State
All passengers are manifested for certain rooms, so they have to work around that with down line people boarding. I've seen passengers moved within a car on occasion. That is under the control of one SCA in his car, though.
 
Joined
May 17, 2015
Messages
2,807
The Amtrak Reservation system computers do not have the capability to handle interactive room or seat selection. As far as which direction the Sleeping Car is facing, that can change up to the time the train departs, if the yard crew needs to switch out a car. The cars work either direction, so they will not take the extra time and money to have all the cars going the same direction.
 
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